Properties Subdivision And Development: What Does The Law States?

by Quatro Legal Real Estate Team | April. 21, 2024 | Article, Real Estate

Many investors buy property with the purpose of subdividing it and developing and when they get to it after the purchase, it can’t be done as urban planning regulations and zoning does not allow it. This is normally part of failure to perform proper due diligence. It is always essential to keep in mind that a standard due diligence to buy a title is not the same as a technical due diligence to develop it. You can browse through our blog page and find articles on these topics.

Now let me get to the point. In 2020, a regulation governing property subdivision and urban development was enacted. The main objective of this regulation was to establish the basis for the division and development of urban properties, urbanizations, and residential complexes.

Among other provisions, the regulation named “Subdivision and Urban development Regulation” establishes the requirements pertaining access to public roads, subdivisions, transfer of areas for public use, exceptional access for residential use, agricultural, livestock, or forestry easements, and minimum standards on street construction, sidewalks, and roads. Normally, this assessment is missed during a purchase process.

This regulation applies nationwide without prejudice to the local planning zone regulations previously established by the corresponding Municipality. Whether planning to purchase, develop, or build on a property, it is essential to engage a specialized professionals to navigate this regulation in full compliance. We always recommend looking for a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that can give you full legal and technical advice on the points of interest for your project.

As of today, the regulation delineates various types of subdivisions, including:

  1. Simple subdivisions.
  2. Urban planning subdivisions.
  3. Residential use subdivisions.
  4. Agricultural, livestock, forestry, and mixed purposes subdivisions.

If you are wondering how, you can find out what type of subdivisions and projects you will be able to develop on a specific property, conducting a technical due diligence is recommended before purchasing. This process will provide clarity on the potential scope of projects that can be executed on your property.

You can also take a look at the article on technical due diligence and after performing it, you will have clarity on the scope of the projects that can be materialized in your dream property.

In Costa Rica, the right to a healthy and ecologically equilibrated is protected by law. This right includes conservation, orderly, sustainable, and environmentally friendly growth. The regulation introduced aims to foster more controlled and regulated development practices in line with these objectives. We are ready to help you in this process by providing our legal guide while moving forward with your plans and urbanizations or developments.

If you have further questions on this topic, feel free to contact HILLARY CRUZ CHAVES at

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